Monday, February 26, 2007

A few "minor" exceptions to new ethics rules

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WASHINGTON — Lawmakers have continued to take trips paid for by outside groups since the House voted last month to restrict who can pay for such travel.

House travel records show that 19 members since Jan. 5 have accepted airfare, meals and lodging from special interests, including groups that employ lobbyists. The records were compiled by the non-partisan PoliticalMoneyLine.

The trips demonstrate that lawmakers "are trying to see what they are going to get away with," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the liberal-leaning watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.